They could not put Jesus to death (Jn 18:31-18:31)

“Pilate said to them.

‘Take him yourselves!

Judge him

According to your own law!’

The Jewish leaders replied to him.

‘We are not permitted

To put anyone

To death.’”

εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Πειλᾶτος Λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς, καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑμῶν κρίνατε αὐτόν. εἶπον αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι Ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔξεστιν ἀποκτεῖναι οὐδένα·

John uniquely indicated that Pilate (ὁ Πειλᾶτος) said to them (εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς) that they should take him themselves (Λάβετε αὐτὸν ὑμεῖς).  They should judge him (κρίνατε αὐτόν) according to their own law (καὶ κατὰ τὸν νόμον ὑμῶν).  However, the Jews or Jewish leaders (οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι) replied to him (εἶπον αὐτῷ) that they were are not permitted or legally authorized (Ἡμῖν οὐκ ἔξεστιν) to kill or put anyone to death (ἀποκτεῖναι οὐδένα).  In other words, under Roman rule, only the Romans themselves, and not the local authorities could administer capital punishment by putting someone to death.  If they were a Roman citizen, they would be beheaded.  If they were a non-Roman citizen, they would be hung on a cross to die.  Crucifixion was a Roman penalty, and not a Jewish option for a crime.  Pilate had no objection to them judging Jesus by Judaic law.  However, since the Jewish leaders could not put Jesus to death, they needed a Roman decree for that to be done.  Once again, only John had this conversation of Pilate with the Jewish leaders outside the praetorium, since the other three synoptic gospels did not have this discussion.  What is the value of the death penalty?

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